Francis prays with Anglican bishops in Namugongo

Pope Francis joined leaders of the Church of Uganda for prayers and conversation at the Uganda Martyrs Museum at the Anglican Shrine

Pope Francis joined leaders of the Church of Uganda on Saturday for prayers and conversation at the Uganda Martyrs Museum at the Anglican Shrine in Namugongo. During his 28 Nov 2015 tour of the shrine, dedicated to 46 Anglican and Roman Catholic converts martyred for their faith in 1886, the pope told Archbishop Stanley Ntagali the common witness of Catholics and Anglicans was an “ecumenism of the blood”. The pope unveiled a dedication stone at the museum and offered a prayer that the Uganda Martyrs would continue to inspire generations of youth to follow Christ. Archbishop Ntagali and the pope then offered a joint apostolic blessing to the thousands of Anglicans gathered outside. Following his tour, the pope conducted a Mass for several hundred thousand Ugandans at the neighbouring Roman Catholic Martyrs Shrine. Archbishop Ntagali stated: “The Roman Catholic martyrs died for the same Jesus Christ as the Anglican martyrs.” Together, they suffered; together, they sacrificed; together, they sang. Together, their blood has been the seed of the church in Uganda.” Citing the pope’s comments, the archbishop said it was the “unity of the blood of martyrs that makes us one.” He added: “If we want to go fast, let us go alone. As the wider Christian community in Uganda, however, if we want to go far, let us go together. This is why we were very happy to welcome the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church to the [Anglican] Church of Uganda.” The stop in Namugongo came in the middle of the Pope’s three-nation visit to Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic.

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